Friday, February 11, 2022

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You by Ariel Delgado Dixon
2/15/22; 320 pages
Random House

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You by Ariel Delgado Dixon is a recommended literary debut novel following the tragic tale of two sisters.

The two sisters Fawn(or May), and our unnamed narrator, are five years apart and survived a traumatic childhood that included living in a commune, abandonment by both parents, and stints in the Veld Center, a wilderness camp and program for troubled youth. Even as adults when the sisters try to stay away from each other, Fern always seeks out her sister. When our narrator thinks she is escaping her past, it is always right there. The stays at the Veld Center and the struggle for survival the program necessitated have resulted in deep, psychologically changes.

Basically the plot is an unnamed adult looking back at the very messed-up childhood of her and her very disturbed sister. The narrative follows two different time periods and the structure of the novel can initially make where and when the reader is confusing until you become accustom to the indications of a change. This is also a rather slow moving, confusing novel for about the first third. The writing style can be very poetic at times, but beautiful writing can't always compensate for other flaws in the plot and construction of a novel.

Not all of the recollections our narrator shares involve her sister. Many of the memories are solely from her life experiences. However, while following their dysfunctional history it is clear that the sisters have many unnamed bonds that connect them to each other. You will also realize the background of the constant battle these two sisters are engaged in with each other. It is a tension filled and very disturbing novel with unlikable characters. Animal lovers need to avoid this one.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Random House.


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